New application for caravan site at West Stow after further environmental checks

West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142248
West Suffolk House ENGANL00120130105142248

Scaled-down proposals for a caravan and camping site at West Stow Country Park have been submitted following more rigorous environmental assessments.

The new plan for the 6 Ha site would see 100 camping and caravan pitches, rather than the original 180, put in place near the park’s eastern end.

After receiving nearly 80 objections about the potential impact on wildlife, St Edmundsbury Borough Council abandoned the initial proposal to undertake further environmental assessments.

Following an ecological appraisal of the site in August and talks with groups including Natural England and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, a fresh application has been submitted which includes additional buffer zones for wildlife.

The park itself is bounded on three sides by the Breckland Special Protection Area and Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest, home to protected bird species including night jar, woodlark and stone curlew.

Previous objections centred around the welfare of resident wildlife and conclusions from a previous ecological appraisal were widely disputed by conservation experts.

The new appraisal studied the presence and location of various reptiles and birds around the site, resulting in the added buffer areas.

A spokesman for the council said it believes the measures implemented ‘mitigate against previous concerns’.

He said: “We withdrew the previous application to address the concerns raised.

“We have met with Natural England and The Suffolk Wildlife Trust amongst others. We have listened to the concerns raised and scaled back our plans.”

The council hopes the campsite will increase use of the park’s visitor centre, café and Anglo Saxon museum.